Leaping lizards, Moxie shows some spunk
Suddenly, Carrie Wessonís terrier has gottalotta
By LAURA CORDES
Express Staff Writer
Thatís the claim to fame for a local dog show winner
named Gottalotta Moxie.
Carrie Wesson and her Jack Russell
Terrier named Gottalotta Moxie take a break from training at their
Bellevue home. Express photo by Laura Cordes
The two-year-old Jack Russell Terrier competed in a show
at St. Paul, Minn. during the first weekend of January.
Moxie, owned by Carrie Wesson of Bellevue, had a perfect
score on the first day of competition. She scored high enough on the third
day to achieve the title Novice Agility.
Not bad for a dog first introduced to agility competition
less than a year ago. And certainly not bad for a dog that first competed
Agility training with Moxie. Or,
"up the rampÖ..". Courtesy photo
Wesson laughs when remembering Moxieís first taste of
Wesson had wanted to do something with Moxie other than
just taking her for walks, so in March of last year, she signed up for a
"Leaping Lizards" class at the Sawtooth Animal Center in
However Moxie, just a year old at the time, didnít take
to the agility skills.
"She was the worst in the class," Wesson said.
"Everyone else was doing really well and there was a dog show in
August that everyone was talking about. But they didnít even ask me
about it because Moxie just couldnít do it."
Moxie persevered, aided by the determination of Wesson.
"and down the ramp." Bone,
please. Courtesy photo
In July, Wesson said it just clicked for Moxie and the
ball started rolling from there. Three months later, Wesson entered Moxie
in her first official agility competition at Idaho Falls.
Dog shows consist of three types of competition:
confirmation, obedience and agility.
Agility competition is a timed event in which a dog must
successfully complete a series of obstacles. The dogís owner is given a
map of the course beforehand, and must lead the dog through the various
obstacles during the event.
Every dog receives 100 points at the beginning of the
event, and then the judge deducts points for faults, such as missing an
In agility competition, a dog must get 85 points or more
to get a "qualifying score." When a dog receives three
qualifying scores, it earns a title. Novice Agility is the first title,
followed by Open and finally Excellence. Excellence is the highest title a
dog can receive.
During her first show in November, Moxie surprised Wesson
by receiving her first qualifying score. Amazingly, it made Moxie the only
dog from her "Leaping Lizards" class to win at a dog show.
"We wanted to do well," Wesson said. "Just
the idea of getting her out there was enough. I knew she was goodóI just
didnít know how good."
From Jan. 5-7, Wesson and Moxie traveled to Minnesota to
compete in the LandíOíLakes Kennel Club dog show. Some 800 dogs
competed in agility. The competition was set up according to height and
Moxie competed only against other dogs in her 12-inch category.
"It was the first time being in a show that big, so I
didnít know what would happen," Wesson said. "But it was so
much fun, and Iím just glad that we finished."
On the first day, Moxie reached the ultimate, a perfect
score of 100 points, giving her a first-place ribbon for the day. After
being disqualified on the second day, Moxie received another qualifying
score on the last day of competition to give her the title of Novice
While Wesson is unsure which dog show they will tackle
next, she will continue to enjoy training with Moxie once or twice a week
at a nearby facility with agility equipment.
"Agility is hard word," Wesson said. "Itís
very physical for you and your dog, but itís a lot of fun. And if you
really like your dog and want to spend time with it, then itís a great
thing to do."